CouncilEurope

European Convention on the General Equivalence of Periods of University Study

Rome, 6.XI.1990

Parties to the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (ETS No. 165) undertook to abstain from becoming a Party to this Convention to which they are not already a Party (see Article XI.4 of ETS No. 165).
The Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community entered into force on 1 December 2009. As a consequence, as from that date, any reference to the European Economic Community shall be read as the European Union.

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The member States of the Council of Europe and the other States Party to the European Cultural Convention, signatory hereto,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members;

Having regard to the European Convention on the Equivalence of Periods of University Study, opened for signature in Paris on 15 December 1956, which applies to the field of modern languages;

Convinced that an important contribution would be made to European understanding if a larger number of students in all disciplines could spend periods of study abroad and if examinations passed and courses taken by such students during these periods of study could be recognised by their institution of origin;

Being resolved to establish, for this purpose, the principle of the general equivalence of periods of university study,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purpose of the present Convention, the term "institutions of higher education" shall denote:

  1. universities;
  2. other institutions of higher education recognised for the purpose of this Convention by the competent authorities of the Party in whose territory they are situated.

Article 2

  1. Parties shall, to the extent that the State is the competent authority in the matter in their territory, recognise any period of study spent by a student in an institution of higher education of another Party as equivalent to a similar period spent in his or her institution of origin, provided:
    • that there has been a previous agreement between, on the one hand, the institution of higher education of origin or the competent authority of the Party where this institution is situated and, on the other hand, the institution of higher education or the competent authority of the Party on the territory of which the period of study has taken place;
    • that the authorities of the institution of higher education where the period of study has taken place have issued to the student a certificate attesting that he or she has completed the said period of study to their satisfaction.
  2. The length of the period of study referred to in the previous paragraph shall be determined by the competent authorities of the Party on the territory of which the institution of higher education of origin is situated.

Article 3

To the extent that the institutions of higher education are themselves the competent authority in the matter on their territory, Parties shall transmit the text of the present Convention to the authorities of these institutions and shall encourage the favourable consideration and application by them of the principles mentioned in Article 2.

Article 4

The provisions of this Convention shall not affect those of the European Convention on the Equivalence of Periods of University Study, opened for signature, in Paris, on 15 December 1956.

Article 5

  1. This Convention shall be open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe and the other States party to the European Cultural Convention, which may express their consent to be bound by:
    1. signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
    2. signature, subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval.
  2. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Article 6

  1. This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date on which two member States of the Council of Europe have expressed their consent to be bound by the Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 5.
  2. In respect of any member State which subsequently expresses its consent to be bound by it, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date of signature or the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.

Article 7

  1. After the entry into force of this Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may invite any State not a member of the Council and the European Economic Community to accede to this Convention, by a decision taken by the majority provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute of the Council of Europe and by the unanimous vote of the representatives of the Contracting States entitled to sit on the Committee.
  2. In respect of any acceding State or, should it accede, the European Economic Community, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Article 8

  1. Any State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the territory or territories to which this Convention shall apply.
  2. Any State may, at any later date, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Convention to any other territory specified in the declaration. In respect of such territory the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.
  3. Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory specified in such declaration, be withdrawn by a notification addressed to the Secretary General. The withdrawal shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date of receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.

Article 9

  1. Any Party may, at any time, denounce this Convention by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
  2. Such denunciation shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.

Article 10

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the Council, the other Parties to the European Cultural Convention, any State which has acceded and the European Economic Community, if it has acceded to this Convention, of:

  1. any signature;
  2. the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
  3. any date of entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Articles 6 and 7;
  4. any other act, notification or communication relating to this Convention.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.

Done at Rome, this 6th day of November 1990, in English and in French, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each Member State of the Council of Europe, to the other States party to the European Cultural Convention and to any State or to the European Economic Community invited to accede to this Convention.